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Obituary - Arhonto Dritshulas

 

Last updated 10/1/2020 at 10:16am

Arhonto Dritshulas

Arhonto Dritshulas of Havre, 76, entered into eternal rest after a long battle with Alzheimer's September 26, 2020, with her husband and daughters by her side. 

A private family Trisagion service will be held the evening of October 5, and due to COVID, a private funeral service will be held October 6 followed by a public graveside burial service which will be held at Highland Cemetery at noon.

Arhonto Dritshulas was born April 12, 1944, to Serafim and Yarifalia Soterhou in the village of Hostia in central Greece. The middle child of three, she grew up in a loving home along the sea with her parents and two sisters. While circumstances cut her formal schooling short, she loved to learn and was, as she liked to say, the "best at math in the whole village."

At 16, she moved to the nearby city of Thebes to take up an apprenticeship as a seamstress, a skill, in which she would become seemingly unrivaled.

August 26, 1962, she married John Dritshulas in their hometown of Hostia and, shortly after, the couple immigrated to the United States, making Havre their permanent home where they raised their three daughters. She soon adjusted to life in a new country as a young wife and mother, working hard to learn English and create a warm and loving home for her daughters, while working as the seamstress for La Modes clothing store.

While proudly becoming a U.S. citizen on June 15, 1970, she deeply cherished her Greek culture, passing it down to her children and grandchildren through traditions, language and many family trips to her homeland. 

John and Arhonto's house on Beaver Creek Boulevard served as the venue for countless neighborhood parties filled with food, Greek dancing, and laughter, and also became a home to many, as they sponsored numerous family members who all built new lives in America, thanks in large part to Arhonto's hospitable spirit and generous heart. 

Arhonto's faith and family guided her life. She was a member of Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church for her 57 years in the United States. A compassionate and selfless woman, in her later years she worked at the Lutheran Home of the Good Shepherd and Havre Middle School, while also volunteering at the Feed My Sheep Soup Kitchen and Northern Montana Hospital.

She always looked forward to her decades-long tradition of weekly coffee hour with friends, afternoons spent playing cards with her husband and tending her garden. She was a devoted wife, mother, grandmother and friend whose love was felt deeply by those she cared for, especially her grandchildren, who were the true lights of her life. Indeed, she embodied the role of "yiayia" - the Greek word for "grandma" - so fully that many who knew her were surprised to learn that wasn't actually her name.

She loved her family fiercely, making her always spotless house a home to all who entered with her smile, infectious laugh, home cooked meals and seemingly never-ending supply of treats. As an adoring and beloved matriarch who shaped the many lives she touched for the better, she will be profoundly missed.  

Arhonto is survived by her loving husband of 58 years, John; her three daughters, Margarita (John) Shoup of Redlands, CA, Kerry Caizza of Maple Valley, WA, and Janna (Chris) Faber of Havre, MT; her four grandchildren, Rebecca Shoup, Jonathan Faber, Zoë Caizza and Sarah Faber; her sisters, Georgia (Thanasis) Stathis and Voula (Sotiris) Christou; her sister-in-law Katerina Loukas; her brother-in-law, Serafim Dritsoulas; and many other nieces, nephews, friends and loved ones. 

Arhonto was preceded in death by her parents, Serafim and Yarifalia Soterhou; her father- and mother-in-law, George and Margarita Dritshulas; her granddaughter Ruth Ann Shoup; her brothers-in-law, Serafim Loukas and Argyri Dimou; and her sisters-in-law Pareskevi Dritsoulas and Panigiota Dimou. 

Arhonto's family would like to thank April Custer and the entire staff at Care and Comfort Home for their compassionate care, as well as Father Andrew Moore for his pastoral visits in her final days. 

Memorials may be made in Arhonto's honor to the Alzheimer's Foundation of America, the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, Care and Comfort Home, Sts. Constantine and Helen Greek Orthodox Church of Great Falls, or St. Mark the Evangelist Orthodox Church of Great Falls in care of John Dritshulas at 31 Beaver Creek Blvd, Havre, MT 59501. 

Holland & Bonine Funeral Home has been entrusted with services and arrangements.

Please visit Arhonto's online memorial page and leave a message of condolence for her family at http://www.hollandbonine.com .

 

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